How to Get Rich by Dennis Felix

The Book: How to Get Rich by Dennis Felix –

The High Notes

  • Pick and industry that fits your interests, has a good tide, and where you have a natural ability.
  • You simply must get started. If you do not get started, you will never make it.
  • Look! Gazelles with diamonds in their guts. There’s one over there, right now! Let’s go rip its throat out and take the diamond. Maybe there will be two diamonds. If there aren’t, then I’m keeping the first diamond, you understand? Otherwise, I’ll rip your throat out, too. Come on! There’s nothing to fear. Let’s get rich!
  • You must laugh alongside this fear. Kiss it on the mouth and slide your dagger through its neck.
  • Trust your instincts. Decisive action is more important than extensive analysis.
  • Hire talent, but keep 100% of your company (or almost). Talent is both absolutely necessary and absolutely replaceable.
  • Never stay in too long.



Quotes follow

On Opportunity

New or rapidly developing industries, whether glamorous or not, very often provide more opportunities to get rich than established sectors. The three reasons for this are availability of risk capital, ignorance and the power of a rising tide.

The owners of capital love “experts.”

As a general rule of thumb, then, growing industries with relatively low start-up costs offer more opportunities for those who want to get rich than declining industries, or those that require huge start-up investment.

You are in no hurry. Nobody ever got poor listening. Also, use silence as a weapon.

reader. It pains me to think about it. If you wish to become rich, look carefully about you at the prevailing industries where wealth appears to be gravitating. Then go to where the money is!

You see, you have to choose a new mine where you suspect there is money, or an old mine with a different angle to get rich.

Look for new mountains where gold is being mined; or will be mined soon.

Property is always good.

Don’t do anything because you feel you have to. Go for what attracts you. Go for something that exploits your natural talents. Go to the mountain which produces money. Money that has your name on it.

When opportunities come you must pounce. Whether you are just starting out or have been at it for a long while. If an opportunity should arrive just as you are taking your family on vacation, for example, do not weaken. Let the family go on without you or cancel the trip altogether.

You can’t deal with bossy, puffed-up sods who won’t train you and won’t delegate. You can only move departments or change your place of work. It isn’t worth the time to do anything else.

An understanding and passionate affinity with any subject, in combination with effective management, sales and marketing techniques, could well provide a tailor-made solution to the Search. Cherish your inclinations and affinities. Though not infallible, they may well lead you in the right direction. But do not fall into the error of making a fetish of your passion.



On Getting Started

don’t sit around waiting for inspiration to strike. Just get busy getting rich.

“Once begun—the job’s half done.”

No matter how much faculty of idle seeing a man has, the step from knowing to doing is rarely taken.

Better to labor as a wage slave than as a beast of burden to a loan shark.

The assumption that you might be able to achieve some goal if you only wished hard enough is not just a f***-up. It’s a potential personal tragedy.

Think big, act small. It’s a recipe that never goes out of style. While especially important for start-ups,

Above all, the flea and his magazine are swimming with the tide, not against it.

you must avoid the trap of going into what you think will make you money if you have no empathy or feeling for what you are about to do. There’s no future in that.

Listening is the most powerful weapon after self-belief and persistence you can bring into play as an entrepreneur.

Your inclinations really do count. You have to pay attention to them. If, like me for example, you abhor television, then it probably isn’t a good idea to move into that industry, unless you have a yen to direct or write for the small screen.



On Fear

“Fear is the little death, death by a thousand cuts,” goes the ancient Japanese saying.

the only way to deal with fear is to cozy up to it. To look it in the eye and pump its hand. To translate its negative energy into adrenaline. To harness it. To laugh with it, rather than at it.

looking back, I have to say that I regret the majority of the times I acquiesced in shilly-shallying and a retreat to safety. I would rather have tried and failed, in most cases, than have taken the safer course that so often appears to be wiser in the abstract.

so what? You may let others down if you act. You may let yourself down if you do not act.

Does such a venture really risk utter destitution? Or is it (far, far more likely) that you fear the embarrassment of failure more than the possible financial penalty.

Imputing desires or fears or loss of morale to others probably has a fancy psychological monicker—like auto-displacement activity. And it’s not always a bad thing. At least it encourages serious communication, even if it adds little to the decision process. Even so, it is a form of well-disguised cowardice.

Whatever your inclinations, your aptitude, your abilities or your preferences, never shrink when opportunities arrive.

liberated from many ordinary fears. With liberation comes the knowledge that nothing is really very important in the lives of men; nothing is as terrifying as the fear itself. And from that, paradoxically, comes self-belief—a belief that anything is possible.

“If only…” are the two saddest words in the English language.

Cut loose, my friend. Cut loose and get rich.

All that is stopping you is fear.

You will cease to be prey.

“Present fears are less than horrible imaginings.” “Horrible imaginings” will rule all our lives if we are fools enough to let them.




On Focus/Tenacity

Tunnel vision helps. Being a bit of a shit helps. A thick skin helps. Stamina is crucial, as is a capacity to work so hard that your best friends mock you, your lovers despair and the rest of your acquaintances watch furtively from the sidelines, half in awe and half in contempt. Luck helps—but only if you don’t seek it.

To sum up then, if you wish to be rich, you must grow a carapace. A mental armor. Not so thick as to blind you to well-constructed criticism and advice, especially from those you trust. Nor so thick as to cut you off from friends and family. But thick enough to shrug off the inevitable sniggering and malicious mockery that will follow your inevitable failures, not to mention the poorly hidden envy that will accompany your eventual success.

But I would not give in. That was the secret ingredient. I would not be a wage slave. I would not take “no” for an answer. I would not give in. I was going to be rich. Some how. Some way. Someday soon. And I would not retreat to the safety of a decent job until I was starved out of house and home.

If you can laugh in the midst of early poverty and in the face of real adversity, and if you can still laugh when you’re coining it in, then you will almost certainly continue to coin it

“Never retreat. Never explain. Get it done and let them howl.”

You will do anything it takes, short of larceny, fraud, blackmail and murder.

gazelles with diamonds in their guts. Look! There’s one over there, right now! Let’s go rip its throat out and take the diamond. Maybe there will be two diamonds. If there aren’t, then I’m keeping the first diamond, you understand? Otherwise I’ll rip your throat out, too. Come on! There’s nothing to fear. Let’s get rich!


On Talent

(on why would anyone work for you?) Providence had sent a few men into the world, ready booted and spurred to ride, and millions ready saddled and bridled to be ridden.

(On employees who leave) write glowing testimonials. Once or twice I have even underwritten their office lease or introduced them to a banker or a lawyer I trust. Why do I react that way? Three reasons. Firstly, I’m proud of them.

When you come across real talent, it is sometimes worth allowing them to create the structure in which they choose to labor. In nine cases out of ten, by inviting them to take responsibility and control for a new venture, you will motivate them to do great things.

Talent is indispensable, although it is always replaceable.

After all, who built the pyramids? The pharaohs or the engineers? Think about it. Then go hire some talent—just like they did.

the exercise of delegation, used responsibly, allows you to bring out the best in others and to make yourself rich in the process.

One of the ways of making it grow is to carefully craft bonuses for those who work for you to achieve margin, cost and revenue targets.

They risked nothing but a small potential embarrassment when they applied for the job in the first place. They are not owners.

You won’t get far if you attempt to financially “incentivize” the salt of the earth. Praise, the ability to discern when a good job has been done and the courtesy to say so, fairness, integrity and camaraderie should be employed instead.

they have to feel the light is worth the candle.

Hire winners or people you believe will become winners. Fire whiners and moaners swiftly. That’s contagious, too.


On Trusting your Instincts

Conventional wisdom will then be revised by those around you and the next generation will be taught that what you did can always or often be done—only to discover, when they attempt it themselves, that in reality you missed every land mine by pure, dumb luck.

The first few million pounds I ever trousered were a direct result of trusting instincts entirely at odds with conventional wisdom of any sort.

Never trust the vast mountain of conventional wisdom. It contains great nuggets of wisdom, it is true. But they lie alongside rivers of fool’s gold.
Knowledge learned the hard way combined with the avoidance of error, whenever and wherever possible, is the soundest basis for success in any endeavor.

“A committee is a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and quietly strangled,” Sir Bernett Cooks

“A committee is a group of the unwilling, chosen from the unfit to do the unnecessary.”

prompt decisions and orders, right or wrong, are far healthier than endless debate and prevarication

Trust your instincts. Do not be a slave to them, but when your instincts are screaming, Go! Go! Go! then it’s time for you to decide whether you really want to be rich or not. You cannot do this in a deliberate, considered manner. You can’t get rich painting by numbers. You can only do it by becoming a predator, by waiting patiently, by remaining alert and constantly sniffing the air and by bringing massive, murderous force to bear upon your prey when you pounce.



On the usefulness of being rich

Becoming rich does not guarantee happiness. In fact, it is almost certain to impose the opposite condition—if not from the stresses and strains of protecting wealth, then from the guilt that inevitably accompanies its arrival.

If I had my time again, knowing what I know today, I would dedicate myself to making just enough to live comfortably (say $60 or $80 million), as quickly as I could—hopefully by the time I was thirty-five years old. I would then cash out immediately and retire to write poetry and plant trees.

Having too much money isn’t important. Breaking your neck is important. Getting cancer is important. Having nothing to eat is important. Losing someone you love is important.

Never take the quest for wealth seriously. It’s just a game, chum.

“To be clever enough to get all that money, one must be stupid enough to want it.”

The only three valid reasons for not attempting to become rich are: “I do not wish to be rich.” Or, “I wish to be rich but I have other priorities.” Or, “I am too stupid to try to get rich.”



On Quitting

There is no such thing as a permanent champ. There isn’t a single fan of Muhammad Ali who does not wish he had quit the ring several years before his failing powers made the decision for him.

Stubbornness is not persistence. Stubbornness implies you intend to persist despite plentiful evidence that you should not. A stubborn person fears to be shown he or she is wrong. A persistent person is convinced that he or she has been right all along, and that the proof lies just around the corner.

“Never give in” is a useful catchphrase. But don’t take it too literally. We must all surrender at some time, to love or desire or death. You will be forced into the last of these, and a fool if you never surrender to the first.

Do not be afraid to change tack, alter course or make new plans with whatever you are attempting to achieve. Especially if you sense that you are on the wrong track.


Other ideas ——

 the vast majority of people doing the asking did not choose their own career. Either they stumbled into it or they were pushed.

Team spirit is for losers, financially speaking. It’s the methodology employers use to shackle useful employees to their desks without having to pay them too much.

A sizable fish in a growing sector, however small, is more attractive to prospective purchasers and investors than the same size fish in a diminishing or static pond.

As you will find, in your own way, unless you were born with a rich mommy or daddy or uncle. For the rest of us, if you want to be rich, then you must walk a narrow, lonely road to get the capital to make it so.

Doubts are like pain. If pain was to be eliminated from humankind, how would we receive warning that something was happening to our body requiring urgent attention?

The “feeling” is when the hair rises slightly on the back of your arms and neck and you know you are on the scent of something you shouldn’t be doing— but you’re going to do anyway. It’s called commercial instinct. You develop it over the years. You certainly aren’t born with it.

Even more unbelievably, readers began to proselytize. No, I mean it. Not just express satisfaction, but proselytize like religious fundamentalists.

if you do not launch the weekly edition, even though you know it is a good idea, then your rivals will do it for you. You will then be left with a damaged monthly and no weekly. This is called the “Barbarians at the Gate” principle.

“Wait until it grows. Match investment with growth. Make it pay,”

keep them short—unless your gut tells you that you have stumbled upon a winner. Set the meeting for twenty minutes. Have somebody interrupt you after twenty-five minutes and usher the caller swiftly from your room.

He is a visionary, I guess. Very few visionaries get rich, begging the lads at Google’s pardon.

Nothing else counts in the getting of money. Shareholder thanks do not count. A good salary and a company car and health plan and pension don’t count. Most share options (usually nothing more than the promise of chickenfeed to salaried employees, and a promise broken half the time, too), don’t count. The gratitude of colleagues doesn’t count.

partnership is not a marriage. In a marriage, you should be willing to die for your partner. To share everything. To kill for them, if you have to. But in a partnership, the making of money comes first.

Ownership Shall Be Half of the Law; Doing an Outstanding Job Shall Be the Other Half.

Even if you are nothing but a scum-sucking, ambulance-chasing tort lawyer—the lowest form of pond-life that walks on its hind legs—be the best scum-sucking ambulance-chaser in town.

Money is never owned. It is only in your custody for a while.

Commit or don’t commit. No half-measures. 2. Cut loose from all negative influences. 3. Choose the right mountain. 4. Fear nothing. 5. Start now. 6. Go!




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